Agriculture Assistance

Relief is on the way for Texoma's agriculture community. A federally funded program is helping ranchers and farmers install conservation practices on their land.

If a rancher or farmer is eligible for the environmental quality incentives program (E-QIP), anywhere from 15-70% of the project will be paid for. With Texoma still currently in a drought, that funding can really be a big help.

Texoma farmland continues to see the effects of the drought, while ranchers and farmers are trying to get back on their feet.

Tony Dean, District Conservationist for Clay County NRCS said, "In the drought they've sold off a lot of livestock. Ranch income and farm income is very limited right now, and it's very difficult financially for a lot of these producers to carry out these practices even though they are needed desperately."

But there is help. The federally funded Environmental Quality Incentives Program is assisting farmers and ranchers.

"We do a lot of brush control. We do some cross fencing to help people manage the grazing on farmland. We get into sometimes terracing, and water ways are conservation practices that will control water erosion on crop land," Dean added.
The E-QIP program is meant to assist ranchers and farmers to protect their land and water resources.

"It is a really strong incentive that allows many producers to carry out those practices on the land it does cost a lot of money to do some of these practices," Dean said

But to be eligible for the program and cut those costs, Dean said farmers and ranchers need to own production agricultural land.

"There is some other funding requirements," he said. "We suggest that you come in and sign an application, and we'll help you work through those, and if they are eligible hopefully they can get a contract."

Program officials say last year Clay County received $121,000 in funding. They say funding numbers for 2013 will likely not be decided until fall.

Upcoming Conservation Planning Meetings

Clay Co.
Wed., Aug. 1 at 12:00 p.m.
Rock Barn in Henrietta

Wichita Co.
Sept. 6 at 11:00 a.m.
Iowa Park Recreation and Activity Center

Archer Co.
Sept. 10 at 11:00 a.m.
Archer City Activities Center

Wilbarger Co.
Sept. 4 at 10:30 a.m.
Wilbarger Co. USDA Service Center

Montague Co.
Aug. 22 at 1:00 p.m.
Montague Co. Courthouse - Commissioner's Courtroom

Young Co.
Call 940-549-0422 for more information

Ford Co.
Call 940-684-1551

Knox Co.
Aug. 8 at 1:00 p.m.
Knox Co. USDA Service Center

Hardeman Co.
Aug. 8 at 8:45 a.m.
Hardeman Co. USDA Service Center

King Co.
Aug 8 at 1:30 p.m.
King Co. Courtroom

Baylor Co.
Call 940-889-3164 for more information

Throckmorton Co.
Call 940-849-5331 for more information

Natalie Garcia, Newschannel 6